Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What does CSM stand for? How to involve all members in change

What does CSM stand for?

That is the question CSM members have been debating for the past three years. And we have agreed on a radical answer.

In summer 2003, I began the consultation on our values. It began with a paper to the then officer group. After discussion we put it to the executive committee the following November. There, and at the 2004 AGM, I launched probably the most extensive consultation CSM has had on what we stand for. We debated our statement of values at AGMs and ECs. Branches made submissions in addition to individual members.

We put it all together into a new statement of values. I read through every submission and many members who contributed and commented on early drafts have seen evidence of their input in the final version.

The AGM in March 2006 voted overwhelmingly to endorse the change, as did the ballot of members which was announced last November.

For me, it was a clear example of how we can involve all our members in change - not imposing change from on high but acting as a genuine democratic socialist movement.

You can read the new statement, together with my introduction, on www.thecsm.org.uk or at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dc9bg35v_43zjh5v .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I don't see here, or elsewhere in the debate, is how we can respond to the challenges of the militant secular wing of the Labour Party, which appears to have a grip on power at present.

It seems that it is no longer enough to be tolerant of difference within the party, but that unless you go along with a particular opinion you have no place.

See this article in the Tablet, 10 Feb.
New Labour, old prejudice
Paul Donovan
Catholic MPs and ordinary members of the party believe that powerful elements within Labour are becoming hostile to the Church. Such a bias could have serious consequences for the party’s electoral fortunes – and for Gordon Brown’s desire to do business with the Churches